An oil spill from a facility belonging to Nigeria Agip Oil Company has devastated about 20 communities in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.

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The spill, which affected Omoku, headquarters of the area, Obrikon, and nearby communities on Thursday, has left the people crying for help as their rivers and farms lands are heavily affected.

Some farmers and fishermen in the communities revealed that the spill affected a tributary of River Niger, which runs through the area, thereby crippling economic activities there.

They called for the immediate intervention of the State and Federal Governments before the situation gets out of hand.

One of the natives said, “If we set our net, it doesn’t catch any fish because of the oil on the water. We just want government to assist us to remove the oil so that we can do our fishing.”

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The Secretary-General of Omoku Council of Chiefs, Martins Olowu, said over 20 communities were affected by the oil spill, including Omoku, the council headquarters.

Olowu said, “The entire river and all the fishing ponds have been dangerously affected. We are begging the Rivers State and the Federal Government to conduct a post-impact assessment as a result of the constant gas flaring in the area.”

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Igbiks Tamuno, appealed for calm, saying a joint investigation team comprising the state government and the company that owned the facility had begun an investigation into the cause of the spill.